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27th Aug 2016

Every football fan can sympathise with Jeff Stelling’s reaction to Hartlepool’s woes


The Premier League is back, and that can only mean one thing.

No, we’re not talking about rediscovering the joy of going to matches and the frustrations that come with it. We’re not even talking about the return of fantasy football and the inevitable countdown until you start ignoring your team again.

No, football coming back means the return of Sky Sports’ Soccer Saturday show, and along with it the return of the greatest man on TV, Jeff Stelling.

We don’t even have Stelling on Countdown to give us our weekly fix during the summer time, so we’re extra grateful that he’s hit the ground running this season.

Saturday’s action gave us some exciting moments in the early stages of the three o’clock kick offs, with no fewer than three penalties being awarded in the first half of Premier League games in that time-slot (in addition to an earlier one for Liverpool in their draw with Tottenham).

But before any of that, Stelling was running through the roll call of presenters at each game. As he tried to send the action to Alan McInally to see what was going down at the King Power Stadium, the Scotsman calmly informed him that he was at Selhurst Park.

In fairness to Stelling, his mind might have been elsewhere as just minutes before, he had to deal with the crushing reality of being a Hartlepool fan.

The Monkey Hangers (yes, that’s actually a thing – look it up) took the lead over Newport County after just two minutes.

But just as the football gods gave them an early lead, they took it away as three minutes later the visitors were level and Hartlepool were down to 10 men after Toto Nsiala was sent off for the foul that led to the goal.

Stelling took it about as well as he could, declaring “I hate this game, don’t you?” much to the delight of his fellow hosts.

Cheer up, Jeff. There’s still plenty of the season left to go.